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Visit to The Broad

Exterior of the Broad

The Broad is a well-known cultural institution among residents of the luxury apartments in Los Angeles. This contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue in downtown has fast established itself as the location to be for those who wish to indulge in creative works that push the boundaries of expression. For those who have never been, however, the institution can prove itself to be somewhat intimidating:

“The 120,000-square-foot building features two floors of gallery space and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library, which has been loaning collection works to museums around the world since 1984.”

That’s a lot of ground to cover, and when you take into account that The Broad’s collection spans some 2,000 works of art, it’s easy to see why a visitor might feel overwhelmed. Fear not, though, newcomers. Today, we’re going to provide you with all the information you need to make the most out of your inaugural visit to one of DTLA’s most impressive museums.

An Introduction to The Broad

We’ll start by getting the general information and descriptions out of the way. The Broad is, at its core, a contemporary art museum. It was founded by Eli and Edythe Broad, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, and opened in September of 2015.

Admission is free, and the museum’s most notable claim to fame might be the nearly 2,000 works that sit in its collection, one of the “the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.”

We’ll discuss some specifics of the collection later, but know that the art here brings together a selection amassed from more than 200 artists worldwide.

Their mission is singular, and rather simple to comprehend:

“By actively building a dynamic collection that features in-depth representations of influential contemporary artists and by advancing education and engagement through exhibitions and diverse public programming, the museum enriches, provokes, inspires, and fosters appreciation of art of our time.”

So, not content on their laurels, you’ll find that they are engaged in a perpetual quest to make The Broad better, which, we might add, is no easy feat. Just a glance at the building reveals the thought and care that was put into its creation, as well as the planning that ensured this space would provide for the optimal viewing space.

Any Tips for First-Time Visitors?

Preparation is the key to optimizing your experience, so be sure to follow some of these tips to better your chances of having a great time when you visit The Broad.

Get Your Tickets Well in Advance

Entry might be free, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need a ticket to get inside. The Broad is a popular place, and while it’s no certainty that it will be filled to capacity on the date of your choosing, it’s also best not to take chances.

Thankfully, acquiring tickets isn’t an overly-complicated task. You can reserve a slot on The Broad’s general admission page, which will also give you an idea of when timed tickets are released.

Consider Getting The Broad Companion App

Some official apps are absolute garbage, offering no added value to whatever experience you are about undertake. Not so of The Broad’s companion app — in fact, it’s highly recommended you download and use it for your visit:

“Developed to enhance the museum experience by offering information about The Broad and its collection, the mobile app features audio, video, and descriptive text about the collection, artworks and artists on view, as well as free self-guided audio tours.”

Beyond that, visitors can make use of the app to reserve tickets and help navigate the vast collection. As for those special audio tours, they’re narrated by various art notables, the museum founders Eli and Edythe Broad, and the inimitable LeVar Burton, former host of Reading Rainbow and popular education advocate.

Park Smart

Now, you could in close proximity to The Broad and drop a good deal of money on parking. A wiser approach, however, would be to park a block (or few) away to help save yourself a few dollars.

The on-site garage cost $15 for three hours — a hefty fee by just about any standard. Finding yourself another place to park, though, will save you the trouble of cramming into the garage and give you the benefit of logging a few extra steps on your trip.

Start at the Top and Work Your Way Down

The Broad has three floors packed with gorgeous artwork. The best way to view it, in our opinion, is to start high and gradually descend the museum.

You can follow the guided audio tours (courtesy of that companion app you already downloaded) or head straight for some of the museums main points of interest.

Those, if you’re curious, include Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms and Couleur Additive by Carlos Cruz-Diez. Upcoming works of interest will feature A Journey That Wasn’t, a glimpse into the passage of time from a unique perspective:

“A Journey That Wasn’t brings forth the rich array of artworks in the Broad collection that capture the passage of time by including artists who use devices such as rhythm, repetition, duration, artifice and appropriation to investigate and distort our perceptions, memories and emotions.”

The exhibition, which opens June 30th, will feature works from more than 20 artists, including Bernd and Hilla Becher, Gregory Crewdson, Andreas Gursky, Elliott Hundley, Pierre Huyghe, Anselm Kiefer, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Sharon Lockhart, Paul Pfeiffer and Ed Ruscha.

There’s plenty more to check out, of course, so be sure to reserve your time slot at The Broad today and get down there soon.

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